Within the past year I have experienced a great amount of growth. Spiritual, emotional, physical, mental. Growing into and out of spaces and people, I've learned a lot about myself along the way. It's been a hard process, I won't lie, but the benefits outweigh the growing pains. Journeying a day at a time, I've had to learn to be gentle with myself, to trust His plans and promises, and to be ok with who am I in this exact moment.
But I'm not alone. I have an amazing support system walking alongside me on this journey. They've participated in cleansing ceremonies, prayer circles, and even bootcamps with me to promote this beautiful growing; this blooming. As my inner circle, their words of wisdom, advice, prayers, and even critique are welcomed because they understand my process; they have lived through the growth with me. There is an unwavering amount of respect reciprocated between them and I; true friendship.
However, without fail and as expected, comments are made about what's perceived to be my life. I know that every decision I make, path I take, and plan I envision are not the norm and may not be easily accepted or digested by all. And that's ok and quite honestly, expected. But I am human. And any negative comment, often coming from a spectator sharing their piece, disturbs my peace.
It's the internal and external commentary of comparison that threatens my contentment.
I was once a spectator ... sometimes I still am. Binge scrolling on social media, I'd often find myself commenting aloud on someone else's life, taking mental notes for comparison and contrast against my own; a menace to my own contentment. I'd closely watch someone else's life from the sidelines instead of focusing on remaining fully present and participating in mine.
It's an act of self-love to live life as a participant, and not a spectator. Yet it seems that some people live and post for an audience; forcing memories and life experiences to impress people that we don't like or even know. This sets unrealistic standards for competition, beauty, and happiness. We should work on turning comparison into motivation. Instead of commenting on the next person's life or comparing their highlight reel to our behind the scenes, we can begin to practice setting our own goals for our lives, embracing every individual stage of life that we journey through.
We are exactly where we need to be and the expectations of others are not ours to follow. Forget the negativity that we hear from others and sometimes think about ourselves! Speak life into the journey! And when you hear commentary from the sidelines, remember that the participants in your life are those that matter, not the spectators.